It's been over a year since I've posted here. I noticed that just today as I was thinking about the past year and realized I might want to post something.
Facebook and Twitter have taken the place of my blog posts (obviously), but they didn't seem like the right place to do a recap of the year.
As with every year, there were ups and downs, but right now, as I write this, I'd say what stands out is the incredible emotional downturn I suffered this year. Most of it in the last couple of months.
I've had stressful times in my life. The years running Corsair Publishing come to mind. I was proud of the work I did there, but the stresses over money, where it came from, and where it was going were huge issues for me and I honestly think the stress did permanent damage to my memory -- not just my memory of that time, but my memory in general.
This year, however, I've had a very different kind of stress. For the last couple of years my wife and I have been trying to have a baby and we'd had little success. A couple of "late" periods, a chemical pregnancy, lots of visits to an excellent fertility clinic to help us in the process. Months and months (over a year, maybe over two now) of what ifs and hoping and being disappointed and hoping and hoping and hoping. And kind growing to hate hope. Trying not to build things up too much. Trying not to put too much meaning into the next success or failure. And failing, failing, failing.
I won't go into the details, but the process was very long, very difficult, and very draining, especially for my wife, who obviously had to bear most of the pressure and treatments. We had one final chance this Fall. We were pregnant for three weeks, then lost it.
When I say "final chance," I mean it. We decided we wouldn't actively try anymore because we don't have the money to do it. This last round was expensive and we can't do more of that. Plus, like I said, it wasn't easy.
The result of the failed pregnancy and the expense is that I had to confront the reality that I won't be a father. That's an ongoing existential crisis for me. I'd never actually thought I wouldn't have kids, or even a kid. So, it's been hard. I feel stressed constantly. Depressed sometimes. Adrift others. It's unlike any experience I've had in the past and it's made 2013 one of my least favorite years ever.
I have things to be thankful for: a new job, great friends, family near and far who love me, a fun gaming group, and a wife who's far too good for me, but loves me more than anything, just like I love her.
But even so, I'm not going to be a father. We're not going to be parents.
Sure, we could end up being one of those couples "who tried everything, then poof! they got pregnant," but I'm not going to hold out hope for that. That's an anecdote, not cold, hard fact. If it comes, I'll take it, but I'm not going to hope. Hope's dead. And that makes me very sad.